Here’s a grim, meathook reality so grim that you might want to sit down for it in case you can’t sit down pain-free for the next week: There is nothing in the whole world as profitable as human suffering. In every time and in every place, human misery offers unparalled opportunity to make dollars.
Understanding this is a matter of understanding some psychology.
A person’s level of motivation to take any given action is a function of the amount of pleasure they expect to gain or the amount of suffering they expect to avoid.
If they come to believe that a previously favoured course of action will lead to a decrease in future pleasure or an increase in future suffering, they will come to change their behaviour.
The psychology of advertising is little more than causing the reader, listener or viewer of the advert to suffer in some way and to then create an association between the product that you are trying to sell and the alleviation of that suffering.
This is done with a simple two-step procedure.
The first is to get the reader to feel bad for some reason. In practice, there are an almost unlimited number of ways that you can make a person feel bad. The really big ticket items, though, are a fear of disease, a fear of low social status and the fear of not being attractive to the opposite sex.
These fears play into the ultimate biological reason why human beings feel fear – namely, when the biological organism calculates, consciously or otherwise, that its potential to maintain or to spread its genes is threatened.
The second is to promote a product as the solution to that feeling bad.
In the case of fear of disease, you can sell medicine and insurance. You can manipulate the target’s fear of germs by exaggerating the prevalence of them to sell cleaning products. You can manipulate the target’s fear of dying by exaggerating the degree of anxiety that a reasonable person ought to feel if they do not have life insurance.
In the case of fear of low social status, you can sell flash cars, expensive clothing, jewellery, houses, golf clubs, yachts and more. Basically anything that appears to compensate for any kind of erectile dysfunction or small penis will attract people who are willing to pay money for it.
In the case of fear of not being attractive to the opposite sex, you can sell just about anything. The use of sex to sell a product is almost universal in advertising. After all, it plays at the fundamental male fear.
The psychologists who conduct advertising campaigns know that the human male – in the vast majority of circumstances – is permanently in a state of subconscious anxiety about his capacity to pass his genes on through a fertile female of his species. This will make him reliably dumb in ways that can be anticipated and profited from.
All the advertiser has to do is to associate the lack of their product with a lack of mating opportunities, and the presence of their product with the presence of mating opportunities. When this is achieved, the male will be willing to pay money for the advertiser’s product in order to alleviate the anxiety the advertiser has created.
It can therefore be seen that the purpose of advertising is literally to make you suffer for money.
This column is no exception. We make a living from telling you when you’ve been lied to – and then selling you what we claim to be the truth. The more we can aggravate your sense of outrage at the lies of politicians, priests and psychiatrists, the more likely you will become to spend money on our books.
Of course, we claim to be doing it out of solidarity, in your own interest – but then so did the priests who burned Giordano Bruno at the stake.
As above; so below – but don’t forget that anyone who is trying to make you suffer is probably not doing it out of sadism but simply for the $$$$$.
On the path from being completely unknown to being properly understood and all of its implications also understood, knowledge can be seen to pass through four stages, each relating to one of the major alchemical elements of clay, iron, silver or gold. This is true whether we are talking of an individual learning a discrete piece of knowledge or of the entire human species collectively intuiting something.
In the clay phase, little attention is paid to the knowledge. Possibly the knowledge is so poorly understood that it will only be voiced by madmen, and so it is easily ignored or written off as meaningless.
It may also be that the knowledge is hard to come by because the methodology for detecting or replicating it is poorly understood or non-existent, or that it is not appreciated because the people who encounter it are simply too dull to possess the capacity.
During this phase it’s possible that a mediocre mind stumbles upon this knowledge and does not recognise it for its value, perhaps even throwing it away as the wheat with the chaff. It might take a superior mind, one of silver most probably, to recognise the import of this knowledge.
When such a superior mind does come to appreciate the value of this knowledge, and to bring it to the attention of their fellows, then it transmutes from clay to iron.
In the iron phase, the power of the knowledge is appreciated, but not its value or how to use it. It is, however, understood that the knowledge is dangerous, or at the very least has the potential to be disruptive to the established order.
In this phase it is rejected with prejudice, often by making it illegal to promulgate it or any methodology associated with it. This might result in book burnings, or in persecution of anyone who dares to voice what the ruling authorities have deemed to be an excessive subversive opinion, or in making activities associated with it illegal.
This reflects how books and writing were initially repressed by many cultures when these cultures first became aware of them, and especially by Abrahamism in the West, which made a special effort to destroy all knowledge that was not conducive to the thought control system introduced by the priesthood.
The grim nadir of this mindless process may have been the burning at the stake of Giordano Bruno, a Renaissance genius from Italy, who was murdered principally for his belief in pandeism and his allegiance to the Luciferian ideal of fearlessness before death and before the Gods.
If the knowledge is worked enough, which is to say if the heat of illumination is applied to it by means of conscious attention, it might become brilliant, which is to say that it transmutes from iron to silver. This requires that the knowledge be discussed despite the persecution of it – usually in secret.
In the silver phase, knowledge is rejected with thought. In this phase, the knowledge might be debated in the open, but only the wise will debate it correctly; the others will have an agenda. The masses will try to do to this knowledge with silver what was previously done with iron and clay: drive it underground to be forgotten.
Inevitably, knowledge in this silver phase is lied about instead of being countered with violence. Telling lies is, after all, often more efficient than violence because once a person has been successfully lied to they will often promulgate the lie on their own initiative (achieving this effect is the goal of propaganda).
In the same way that silver tarnishes to black, so too is knowledge subjected to dark arts during the phase of silver. There might be concerted efforts to oppose this piece of knowledge through all means of disinformation or misinformation. Propaganda against that knowledge might be widely disseminated with eager help from a variety of media.
If the piece of knowledge survives this phase, the phase of the lunar caustic or perhaps the Dark Night of the Soul, then it will become radiant, and will therefore have transmuted from silver to gold.
In the gold phase, the knowledge in question achieves the state of illumination. This means that the knowledge is fully understood, and so are all of its implications.
This corresponds to the radiance of the light that shines from reflected gold. A piece of knowledge that has achieved the status of gold will radiate its heat through the body and mind of the person possessing it, warming the spirit.
All knowledge passes through these four stages from when it is first dimly perceived to when it is totally personified in all of the body, mind and spirit.
The cozy political paradigm that most of us went into 2016 with has now been completely shattered. Way back then, there was still some vague kind of belief that it was possible to strike a meaningful compromise between the various political actors on the world stage.
Now, everyone to the left of Adolf Hitler is screaming “Nazi!” at everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders, and those people are screaming “Cuck!” right back.
This means that most people are both Nazis and cucks, depending on the degree of political fanaticism of whoever is screaming at them at any given time and to which pole that person happens to have gravitated towards.
It’s an ugly scene all round.
Simply speaking, the left is a reaction to the right. The right are the same people who naturally have all the power (namely, the orderly) and the left is a reaction to this. In particular, it is a recognition by the disorderly that they have to impose some order upon themselves or lose ground in the political battlefield.
The centre is a reaction to both the left and the right. More precisely, it is a reaction to the constant fighting that once characterised the two-party (or two-pole) system. It’s an attempt to put peacefulness above all.
The alt-right is similar. The alt-right is a reaction to the left being shit and then a counter-reaction to the right being also shit. The alt-right cannot be understood unless it is seen as a double rejection, of both the left and the right.
The alt-centre, therefore, is a rejection of all of the left and the right and the centre, not to mention the alt-right and – in anticipation of it ever standing up – the alt-left: in other words, it’s a rejection of the entire political system.
This triple rejection of tired old political dogmas makes alt-centrism the real alternative way of political movements. It finally provides a solution to the balance fallacy when applied to politics.
The balance fallacy in politics occurs when a person or voting bloc decides that some kind of vague middle ground between the demands of capital (right wing) and the demands of labour (left wing) is necessarily the best compromise solution.
Note that pointing out this fallacious reasoning here does not mean that one is saying that a balance is bad in and of itself, or that either of the two extremes of left and right would be better in charge.
That is a false trilemma, which is what you get if you see through the false dilemma posed with left and right.
All three positions – pro-capital, pro-labour, and pro-compromise – are all terrible positions because they are all necessarily pro-political system. They are all positions within the broader paradigm of legitimising the use of the political system as a mechanism by which one can exploit one’s class enemies.
The reason why it is impossible to simply strike a balance is that the two wings of the political system co-operate to take power incrementally away from the populace under the pretense of striking a balance. This works in the same way that a cartel works – the members of the cartel agree to offer an equally bad deal to different groups of people.
The way forward will be the way promoted by neophyte political movements like Not A Party. This rag-tag bunch of New Zealanders, led by whoever a random number generator says is the leader on any given day, run in elections with the specific intent of losing.
They then claim the people who have not voted are their supporters, which gives them the largest number of seats in the Not A Parliament. Control of Not A Parliament allows them to not pass any laws, which makes them not responsible for things like cannabis prohibition, which costs New Zealand $400,000,000 per year.
The delusion that all questions of human suffering must be solved first and foremost through the political system is one that has to be rejected if we are actually to make any progress on those questions.
Because there are very, very, very few politicians who could rightly claim that their actions as a politician resulted in a net win for the human survival project.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis).
Some forward-thinking people are starting to discuss the idea of a universal basic income. This is the idea that the Government would make a small but weekly payment to each adult resident citizen, just enough to keep them alive but not enough for any luxuries or even any decencies.
Predictably, the idea that the Government might help the poor in some new fashion has resulted in cries of communism from those who expect to inherit large amounts of property.
But there are reasons to believe that bringing in a universal basic income, even if it was as little as the current unemployment benefit, would significantly raise the standard of living of the average New Zealander.
For instance, a universal basic income would, at a stroke, remove all the cruel things that people do to each other out of desperate poverty.
One might object here that they would not remove all the cruel things that people do to each other out of greed – and that’s true in some cases – but consider this.
Every great dictator or tyrant who convinced a mass of people to go against their better nature, and to later regret that they had done so, convinced those people by offering them money.
They just looked for desperately poor people. Poverty is control. That’s the way it has to be understood for the psychological reactions of people to the question of a universal basic income to be understood.
Hitler could not have achieved what he did without the Great Depression and the economic restrictions imposed on Germany as a consequence of the Versailles Treaty.
People like to make a big deal about Hitler’s rhetoric and oratory skills, but the naked fact is that the NSDAP paid men to serve in the military, and they could pay a lot of men for not much money because those men were all as poor as shit.
This is why getting the rich to give up some of the money they have extorted out of the poor through their control of the Police and of private property is not a simple matter of appealing to the simple fact that it would reduce the sum total of human suffering.
One must also take into account the loss of power this entails.
Think of all the women in history who were forced to accept the sexual advances of a man they didn’t like because they needed the money.
Think of all the men in history who have wound up doing violence to strangers because they were forced to be obedient to someone violent for the sake of money.
Think of all the kings and queens who were able to raise an army to invade some other peaceful place because the peasants of their kingdom had no access to the commons on account of enclosure, and therefore were forced to take the monarch’s silver or starve.
Think of all the times a parent who, on account of stress from worry about where the next meal was coming from, took a short-sighted decision in the heat of the moment and came to regret it.
Go back as far in history as you like. How many robberies, how many burglaries, how many thefts, how many assaults and murders could have been prevented had we merely seen to it that people didn’t need to go hungry, and did so with a similar effort to what we already put into punishing and protecting ourselves from robbers, burglars, thieves and murderers?
We’re not talking about an equal distribution of luxuries, or even decencies. A person living merely on a universal basic income will be too poor to afford much beyond food and shelter – but at least they will not be so poor that they will take violent actions out of desperation.
One might raise an objection to this on the grounds that, if people were willing to look after each other enough to introduce a universal basic income, they would have done so already and would not need coercion through Government taxation.
This objection is only reasonable up to a certain historical point. When the productivity of the average citizen has advanced to such a degree that simply by pressing a button they can cause machines and computers to produce a million dollars worth of goods, there’s no reason barring a sadistic need for control to cut non-machine-owners out of this cornucopia.
Of course, much of this discussion is academic in the case of New Zealand, which is 20 years behind the rest of the world in progress on questions like this and getting worse. Medicinal cannabis was legalised in California in 1996 and we are yet to even have a proper discussion about it, so we will likely be several decades behind the rest of the world on the basic income question too.